The Photo of My Daughter

The Photo of My Daughter

Last week my 4-year-old, Tsofia, was the “Girl of the Week” in nursery school.

That meant a few things. It meant Tsoofy got to sit next to her teacher, Ganenet Chaya, the whole week during teaching time. It meant every day Tsoofy got to wear Shabbat dresses and her white Shabbat shoes (on the mornings when we could find them). It meant Tsoofy brought in hamentaschen and 23 copies of a Purim picture to color to share with her classmates. And, it meant that photos of Tsofia at various stages babyhood to 4-year-old hood were displayed for the whole week in the “Girl of the Week Gallery” for all to see.

So, late on Saturday night I was looking through old photos on the computer tracking down some nice shots of Tsoofy. I decided to search around the professional photos from family simchas, bat mitzvahs and brises, and found 6 photos that I thought would look awesome in the gallery.

I printed them up first thing Sunday morning and when I saw the photos up in the “Girl of the Week Gallery,” I was so pleased.

Yesterday, I took all the photos home from the gan, and my 12-year-old, Maayan, was looking through them when she came across the photo of Tsoofy dressed up for a bat mitzvah in a pink satiny dress.

“Eema,” she protested, “this is not Tsofia!”

“Yes it is!” I responded, with an “I know what I’m talking about,” “Don’t be silly!” insistence to my voice.

“Look at the dress she’s wearing,” she continued. “This is NOT Tsoofy! This was Moriah at Hadas’ bat mitzvah 5 years ago!”

And then reality sunk in…How had I been so stupid? Tsofia wasn’t even at that bat mitzvah! Actually she was—as 5-month old fetus in utero!

But even after I knew this was a photo of Moriah at age 4 and not Tsoofy today, I could not believe it wasn’t Tsoofy. Moriah 5 years ago looked EXACTLY like Tsofia.

Which reminded me one of the reasons why I love having this large a family, KA”H.

It’s true. Having 8 kids is demanding. There’s more:

Dirty laundry and
Food to prepare and
Dentists appointments and
Doctors appointments and
Teachers to call and
Clothing to buy and
Smelly diapers to change and
Runny noses to wipe and

But there’s also more:

Brises and
Kiddushes and
Upsherins and
Siddur Parties and
Chumash Parties and
Bar Mitzvahs and
Bat Mitzvahs and
8th Grade Graduations and
Birthday Parties and
Random Sweet Mothering Moments when we’re all just hanging out and enjoying each others’ company

And with this many kids, I get to weep through and relive those sweet parts again and again and again…

And again and again and again…

And again

And yet again.




  1. I wish I had your enthusiasm. I hope I do one day. Right now its just so overwhelming.

  2. Loving my gang, but wish I was a better mother (maybe a bit like you!)

    As my house redefines balagan, and I confront my ineptitude at all things housekeeping/children’s hygiene every moment, I HOPE Hashem knows what He is doing!

    My kids do seem happy, but they deserve better. I’m working on it, but I hope they don’t suffer too much!

  3. First of all, I loved your article! It’s so beautifully true! A second thing, is I read the 2 posts above and my reaction right away was we, including myself, are so hard on ourselves! I think we should always be striving to be better but I do think that we need to be kinder to ourselves regarding our imperfections, which is exactly how Hashem created us and therefore wants us to be!

  4. I try to remind myself that I felt as overwhelmed when I had 2 and 3 kids as now when I have 7 (b”H). I think that one thing I have more of since we’ve become a big family, is more worries and worrying.
    I liked this post Jenny. It highlights also the hardships (which we tend to talk about much less in public forums)

  5. much nachat always. may hashem continue to give koach ( energy) to all the amazing mommy’s who watch over their precious diamonds!!

  6. i recently decided to print up some pictures of my kids and make a family gallery over my sofa. i found pictures of each of the kids and brought them in to be enlarged. when i returned, my kids all sat around and discussed my choices. i have three daughters whose toddler photos were identical. putting them next to a picture of me when i was 2 added to the confusion…. two of my sons (17 years apart) are also identical as toddlers…. as a mother i often find myself focusing on my children’s differences. when we are confronted with their similar images (sans age difference), it forces us to focus on their similarities. my children have individual personalities, but they all share a certain sweetness and tug my mother’s heart in the same way.

    when they get challenging–especially as they get older–it is good to remember them in their sweet and realtively uncomplicated years and respond to the lovable child that still lives inside them…

  7. I know the feeling. I have 8 kids and numbers 4 and 5 were born close together. They looked identical as newborns. Whenever I go through the photo album I can only guess which is who is who by the color of their outfits sometimes.
    May HaShem bless you!

  8. It gets even more fun when you have the grandchildren. Can you imagine 3 siddur parties and a birth, all in one day! And then there are the cousin look alikes, and the cousins with the same first name! Amazing, absolutely amazing….

  9. love this post and even more… love the comments! Ahh the beauty of being in the chaotic stage of motherhood:)

  10. I love that kids look like each other! It makes family relations special. When you see your grandchildren looking like their parents it’s amazing. Everyone is unique but family resemblances are astonishing. Sometimes when my daughter posts pictures I have to enlarge them to be sure who it is! My daughter or granddaughter. Much Yiddishe nachas from them all.

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